Microsoft offers two similar, but separate, services containing the OneDrive moniker. There’s OneDrive (which is free) and OneDrive for Business (which isn’t). Strangely (as my ex-colleague Mark Wilson points out at OneDrive for Business: lots of cloud storage; terrible sync client) the free offering is much better than the paid-for one.
Microsoft state in their blog post Taking the Next Step in Sync for OneDrive on 7th January 2015:
It was clear that the right approach was to converge to a single sync engine and experience that would be able to provide all of the benefits of the consumer and business service to all customers faster. We decided to start with the consumer sync engine foundation from Windows 7 and Windows 8 and add the right capabilities from the other two engines.
That’s Microsoft-speak for “Yes, OneDrive for Business is shit so we’re dumping it in favour of the OneDrive stuff”. Good news.
Back in October 2014 Microsoft announced the availability of a Files API that allowed developers the ability to access files stored in Office 365
we’re enhancing the opportunity for developers with Office 365, with new APIs for mail, files, calendar and contacts. These new robust REST-based APIs empower all developers to leverage the more than 400 petabytes of data (as of March 2014) and popular services across Office 365 in any application.
New Office 365 extensibility for Windows, iOS, Android and web developers
I asked a couple of the guys that worked on the API would the files API work against OneDrive and/or OneDrive 4 Business? The answer from Chris Johnson was “working on it”:
That sounded like good news too.
Yesterday Microsoft announced the availability of The new OneDrive API
which is a RESTful API. Given that they are attempting to unify OneDrive and OneDrive for Business, and also given Chris Johnson’s response to my question in October, I wondered whether this API would cover OneDrive for Business as well so I decided to check out the new OneDrive API using the API console
and found something quite promising. A request to https://api.onedrive.com/v1.0/drive/
which GETs a user’s default drive returns:
Note the mention of
That says to me that there will be other driveTypes and so I assume that this API will be used to access OneDrive for Business stuff also. More good news if that’s the case. I tweeted that question but at the time of writing haven’t had an answer.
Some questions still remain in my mind:
- What’s the difference between this new OneDrive API and the files API announced back in October? Do we have two teams building essentially the same thing? That sounds like the bad old Microsoft of old so I do hope not.
- Are we ever going to get a RESTful API that will enable us to push data into an Excel workbook that is stored on OneDrive? Chris Webb and I have been asking for this for five years now. Again I asked the question on Twitter and am still hoping for a response. I do have high hopes that the new Power BI REST API will sate my needs here (right now I wouldn’t know because if one isn’t in the US then one cannot access it).